Thursday, November 7, 2013

Goodreads Thursday | Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

Title:  Cloaked in Red
Author:  Vivian Vande Velde
Length:  127 Pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Released:  February 7, 2012

So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we're not "not including" anyone, because they're all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains? Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde crafts eight new stories involving one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) characters in literature. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.

My Review
**This review contains mild spoilers.**

Author's note:
Few authors can make their note laugh-out-loud funny, but Velde has a uniquely twisted style of telling things that either comes off charming or annoying. I'm in the charmed camp.

The Red Cloak
Brief Summary: Meg's mother dies an old, ratty cloak a vibrant, look-at-me red color.
Commentary: Probably the most straightforward of the Little Red Ridding Hood recountings.

The Red Riding Hood Doll
Brief Summary: Georgette is a skilled seamstress whose bad encounter with a snotty customer sparks a fit of creativity to give her something she longs for, but it turns out not exactly as she'd imagined it would.
Commentary: Velde does a nice job of using a few pages to make one care for Georgette, but the short story's ending is a little cliché.

Little Red Riding Hood's Family
Brief Summary: Starts out sounding like the real deal Riding Hood story, but ends up way cooler with some neat twists.
Commentary: So far, the most fun tale told.

Granny and the Wolf
Brief Summary: Nelda needs to fend off a zealous suitor.
Commentary: The "fine self" references were funny. A charming tale that reminded me a bit of a comedy routine. It also had a satisfying ending.

Deems the Wood Gatherer
Commentary: A humorous tale of a shortsighted woodsman.

Why Willy and His Brother Won't Ever Amount to Anything
Commentary: Isolda's just all right but I do love the twist at the end.

The Little Red Headache
Commentary: A wolf's tale.

Little Red Ridding Hood's Little Red Ridding Hood
Commentary: A cloak's tale. A satisfying end to a charming book.

Conclusion: Even if you have a passing interest in The Little Red Riding Hood story, you should get this book. The cover doesn't really fit it in my opinion, and there are some tales that are a tad boring, but's a pretty neat collection. It would make a great gift for a teen or preteen as well as a literature loving adult. The references to other stories are witty and satisfying.

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